Over the last few years, several high profile bands have returned to the music industry. Groups such as Five Iron Frenzy, O.C. Supertones, Capital Lights, Blindside and Search the City, have all announced reunion tours and new albums. I was definitely thrilled to see each of these bands creating music again.
However, for this post, I want to concentrate on ten bands that ended their career way too early. These groups have not only disbanded, but it’s safe to say that reunion tours and new albums will not be in the works anytime soon. Some of these bands ended their run due to vocal hardships, others wanted to honor the number seven, while some quietly bowed out of the music scene. Here are my ten picks for bands that ended their career too soon.
10. The Benjamin Gate
With groups like Flyleaf, Fireflight, Icon For Hire, Paramore and The Letter Black, female vocalists are getting stronger and more popular by the day. Before female rock singers were a staple in the Christian industry, The Benjamin Gate found themselves rocking in the late 90s. Formed in South Africa, this group ended their career rather quickly after a couple of independent albums and two under appreciated records on Forefront. The group disbanded in 2003 due to lead vocalist Adrienne Liesching's engagement to Jeremy Camp. With an addicting sound and undeniable hits like “Lift Me Up,” “All Over Me” and “How Long,” this group never reached their full potential with an early exit from the music industry.
9. Haste the Day
In 2010, Haste the Day announced their departure from the world of metal. Over their career, they faced a number of different line-up changes, including the exit of original vocalist Jimmy Ryan in 2005. Still, with each new member change and each new album release, Haste the Day only seemed to get stronger as a group. With their break-up, Solid State Records and Christian metal lost one of its most resilient and talented bands.
8. Chasing Victory
In the mid 2000s, Mono Vs. Stereo was one of the hottest record labels in Christian rock. One of the young groups at the center of the label was Chasing Victory. On their debut, these guys mixed together elements of hardcore and emocore with a tinge of southern rock. For their sophomore album, the group branched out by experimenting with an accessible hardcore sound. After two albums and an EP, Chasing Victory disbanded in 2007, and some of the original members created a new band called Astoria. With a new band in the works, Chasing Victory is all but dead.
Nevertheless definitely had a bright future ahead of them with their pop hooks and catchy lyrics. Their first two albums were sing-along type pop songs with a couple of mature themes mixed throughout. From serious subjects on songs such as “Topics,” “It’s True” and “O’Child,” to fun, pop anthems like “Cross My Heart” and “Perfect Chemistry,” Nevertheless was a rising star in the Christian music industry. After a number of years touring in a van and playing countless shows, the group decided to call it quits in 2009. With two very solid albums, Nevertheless had the talent to make a big impact on the Christian pop scene; they simply failed to have the stamina and desire to be a full time group.
6. I Am Terrified
Over their very short career, I Am Terrified created heart pounding screamo songs that proudly proclaimed their faith. Inspired by many well-known hymns, the group released a self-titled EP on Gotee Records in 2008. Featuring hard hitting rock songs with fire and brimstone lyrics, many fans were left anxiously awaiting a full length album from the group. However, two years later they called it quits, and their unique, screamo worship style sadly left with them. With only one EP to their name, I Am Terrified definitely left the music industry way too soon.
5. Sever Your Ties
Sever Your Ties’ lone full length release, Safety in the Sea, was a great, great hardcore album. It came very close to making my top ten debut albums of all time. With the talented screaming, raspy vocals, synths, guest appearance from Jeff Schneeweis and an amazing cover of “Don’t Fear the Reaper,” this was a phenomenal debut. In 2010, Sever Your Ties didn’t leave the industry with a major announcement or letter on why they disbanded after their first album. Instead, they quietly slipped out of the music industry with the simple statement of, “That’s all she wrote.”
4. Dead Poetic
Dead Poetic evolved over their career from a hardcore group to a straight up rock band. Through their evolution in sound and style, one thing always remained the same: the vocals of Brandon Rike. Not only did he perform the screams on their earlier works, but he also carried the melodic parts perfectly with his wide vocal range. After the release of their third album, Dead Poetic announced their official hiatus in 2007. Five years after the group’s break up, Dead Poetic still gets me excited. Songs like “New Medicines,” “Narcotic” and “Taste the Red Hands” are perfect examples of great rock and roll.
3. David Crowder Band
The latest album from the David Crowder Band marked a bittersweet moment for fans in 2012. Give Us Rest Or (A Requiem Mass In C [The Happiest Of All Keys]) featured 34 brand new songs, but this release also marked the end of a great era. Last year, the David Crowder Band officially announced that they would be leaving the music industry in 2012, after the release of a new album and a final farewell tour. With today’s worship music quickly becoming bland and more of a business than actual worship, their albums were a refreshing and enjoyable alternative. This group not only created memorable and thought provoking worship anthems, but they constantly pushed themselves in the creative department. Shortly after their break up as a group, some of the members announced the creation of another band called The Digital Age. Even though the sound of The Digital Age is fantastic, I will miss the music, creative anthems and worship experience of the David Crowder Band.
2. Audio Adrenaline
Due to the major vocal problems of Mark Stuart, Audio Adrenaline called it quits in 2007. By the end of their career, guitarist Tyler Burkum was forced to take over a large number of vocal duties for the ailing Stuart. Even though their career was cut short due to health issues, Audio Adrenaline still stamped their imprint on the world of Christian rock. With huge singles like “Big House,” “Underdog,” “Some Kind of Zombie,” “Chevette,” “Mighty Good Leader,” “Hands and Feet,” “Ocean Floor” and “Get Down,” the significance and legacy of Audio Adrenaline cannot be understated.
1. DC Talk
This group needs no introduction. With three gold albums, two platinum records and Jesus Freak receiving a double platinum status, DC Talk is arguably the most popular and groundbreaking Christian rock artist of all time. When the group announced they were going separate ways in 2000, it seemed as though the Christian music world stopped. With TobyMac dominating radio and Michael Tait singing in the Newsboys, a reunion is probably a far possibility. However, I still hope that one day this trio will reunite with one final round of awe-inspiring Christian rock.